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  #1  
Old 11-18-2008, 02:36 PM
blankenstein
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Default considering a career in nursing.

hello everyone. obviously, i'm new here.

i just wanted to get some feedback as to what the best route would be to become a nurse, and what kind of options are out there. i'm a 26 year old guy, and got my BA in communications in may '08. a bout a week after graduation, i broke my knee in a motorcycle accident and was basically on my butt until the end of september. as i'm sure everyone knows, that's about when the economy really started to take a dive, and i've been job hunting and not seeing anything even relatively close to what i'd like to do.

luckily, i have an awesome family and my parents are encouraging me and willing to help me go back to school and do something that i WOULD like to do. i've always had a deep admiration and respect for the health field and have really been thinking about getting into nursing. i'm just sort of confused about what the best way to go about it would be.

i live in the los angeles area, so there are a lot of good schools i could go to, my main question is this: should i go directly into an RN program, such as getting a BSN or a master's entry RN program, or would it be better to work from the bottom up, starting as an LVN/CNA and going from there to get my RN after i've had some experience?

and what're the pros and cons of working in some of the specialized nursing positions? some of the options, like becoming a travel nurse, seem appealing, but i don't know any nurses personally, so i really am taking a stab in the dark here.

thanks in advance for reading this long freakin' post and i appreciate any help you're all willing to give!
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2008, 05:11 PM
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Hi and welcome to NV. I'll tell you my story and you can take from it what you will (not that I'm in Australia). I lost my job in 2006, I was a scientist for a food lab. I had been interested in changing my career for about a year before, and it all happened just before applications closed for University courses in Australia, so it was kind of good timing.

I went straight for a RN course, which was accelerated allowing me to do the three years in only two. We are able to work in the nursing field as we get skills, so after our first clinical block (7 weeks of clinical) we are able to do personal care, so some people in the class started working as patient care attendants. After two years worth of study we can register as ENs (LVN, LPN, etc) as we study to complete the last year and register as RNs. I liked this way, as I hate working as an EN at the moment (due to limitations on my practice) and to convert up to RN is another two years. I also had enough trouble going back to school once, let alone again after that for RN.

Don't worry about specialties now, what you see on TV is not always how it works. As a junior nurse you will generally get fairly stable patients at the start, so no matter where you work you won't have much trouble. As you study you should get the chance to move around different wards and hospitals and experience the different styles of nursing. As I was doing my course I found that I preferred surgical nursing over medical, children over adults, and loved wounds. I was hoping to get a job in wound care, or surgical nursing. I have been offered a job in short stay surgical unit (We apply within our state for hospitals and get placed according to our preferences and an interview with the hospital).

To work in Emergency, ICU, Theater (in Australia) they prefer for you to have experience and post graduate qualifications. If you wanted to travel nurse these are kind of a must as they show that you have the skills, also keep your portfolio up to date.

Hope this is of help.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2008, 09:41 PM
Pal
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Cool Hey Budd

I am in Cali/Sanjose,

I STRONGLY SUGGEST CNA and work within the Hospital for awhile. I have done things the HARD WAY by stepping to the Xtreme challenge and entered RN program after 2 yrs wait list. I am failing not due to CLINICALS but CRITICAL thinking on the EXAMS.

The Nursing INSTRUCTORS are not your regular INSTRUCTOR they DO NOT grade on the curve or drop the lowest exams ect. There is NO MERCY because these instructors take the PROFESSION VERY SERIOUSLY and will love to fail you, even if you lack in motivation.

During this semester, I knew some students that were repeating with me from previous semester and new students that were dropped because they could not pass clinicals, or dosage calculation, or like me the CRITICAL thinking exams ect.

Thus I am going to repeat LEVEL 1 and woooh having FUN. Now I will be the PREVIOUS semester student
Check out this website http://www.versant.org/
My background: (Served in US Army as LT) JUST HATED IT...
My education: BS Biology.

Last edited by Pal; 11-18-2008 at 09:55 PM. Reason: misstyped info
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:41 PM
blankenstein
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it seems that the CNA route is the consensus from some of the stuff i've heard on another forum.

so, assuming i DID become a CNA and enjoy the work, is it still just as difficult to get into an RN program? will having CNA experience get me into an RN program any quicker, and would it take care of some of the prerequisites necessary to get into said program? and one last question - would i receive any financial help from the hospital/clinic/whatever i'm working at to get my RN, or would that still be completely on me?

thanks again for the help!
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:32 AM
Pal
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Cool My response to your inquiry

First of RN is not the same as CNA. However, you will learn a great deal about nursing because you are helping the NURSE.

Second, RN pre-requisite are the following in Cali/Sanjose: Anatomy Physiology, Microbiology, Human Nutrition, Intro Psychology, Developmental Psychology, English 101/102, and General Core requirement for Associates. AND than you wait for 2 years THAN you start 1-2 years RN program, and take NCLEX exam to get license. A LONG ROAD

CNA requirement: Basic English, pass 50 hr lecture, and do 100 hrs clinical, and get license. It takes a semester. VALUABLE EXPERIENCE. FROM there you can apply to LVN and that is more transitional than RN. RN WILL drive you nuts if you don't hear my advice. TRUST ME, I did it the HARD WAY. DON'T do what I DID. OR ELSE IT WILL drive you NUTS.
Also you cannot work during the RN program, its just not possible. One feels LIKE A HOMELESS person during the RN program. The RN absorbs all your energy and time. You are constantly busy throughout the time. You need to turn in assignments, VERY PAINFUL CARE PLANS that may consist of filling out over 40 pages due to a patient taking BLOODY 40 medications ect...for each medication you need a med card filled out, in addition to the 40 pages, there are assesment pages dealing with each major system of the body's abnormalities, and pathophysiology of each disorder of your ASSIGNED patient. THESE CARE PLANS are turned in every week of the clinical.

Moreover, my classmates are former Medical Techs, medical assistants, and LVNs. AND THEY HAVE GOOD CONFIDENCE. It annoys me when they shoot out their DAMM mouth, everytime the intructor asks a question. I don't even have the moment to think before they response. I HATE IT

Third, since NURSING is a VERY HOT proffession, there are MANY hospitals that offer educational grants for upgrade training, provided that you sign a contract of usually (2) years after finishing the training. You may need to call the hospital's HUMAN RESOURCES and they will have this information

I don't like to scare you but if you don't have any familarity of CLINICAL experience from hospitals, you will be knocked out on the first round of the RN program

Last edited by Pal; 11-19-2008 at 12:55 AM. Reason: type error
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2008, 04:49 AM
JacquiBee
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Smile experience helps

Working in patient care would help you in your nursing. You'll learn if you like caring for and working with people. Nursing is a hard job and tough training, so it is worth checking out how you like that kind of work. One thing that is important to remember is nursing is very intimate work, your sharing some of the most intimate things with patients not just providing them with physical care and assisting with bodily functions but with life experiences of illness, pain, sadness, grief, loss, joy and many others. I find it the most satisfiying job, I love it even when it drives me crazy. I really love people, I find them facinating, I get to care for young and old (mostly old) and I learn something from every one of them. I want them to feel I care, that I respect them and I try to offer the best nursing care every day to all my patients. That means I have to like my job or I just couldn't bring that every day. Blankenstein, that you are thinking about this probably means you do think you want to do this job and I wish you the best of luck, you might end up like me, if a patient says Oh Im sorry you have to help me to the bathroom I can say back how lucky am I to have a job where I get to help people and be nice to them all day and get paid for it.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:24 AM
Pal
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Wink Reponse to JacquiBee's comments

I don't think helping somebody w/ bodily care is intimate
The trick is that DON'T make it a BIG DEAL. IN THE ARMY I had akward situations where I had to share a common shower with several men. I got useto of it because I DID NOT make it a BIG DEAL. I only wish they were females.

What is HARD about NURSING is the LEGAL responsibility for the PATIENT's intensive care. Assisting the SURGEONS ect...My Nurse instructor frightens me when she reminds about how responsible the nurse is when she makes CRITICAL decisions about Patient CARE in the ICU or any fast pace critical unit.

Last edited by Pal; 11-21-2008 at 10:26 AM. Reason: typo error
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:05 PM
runningnurse
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pal View Post
I don't think helping somebody w/ bodily care is intimate
The trick is that DON'T make it a BIG DEAL. IN THE ARMY I had akward situations where I had to share a common shower with several men. I got useto of it because I DID NOT make it a BIG DEAL. I only wish they were females.

What is HARD about NURSING is the LEGAL responsibility for the PATIENT's intensive care. Assisting the SURGEONS ect...My Nurse instructor frightens me when she reminds about how responsible the nurse is when she makes CRITICAL decisions about Patient CARE in the ICU or any fast pace critical unit.
Actually it is in ANY patient situation. As a Nurse you hold these people's life in your hands and as gross as it may be you get your respect for someone's life and who they are when you are a mile high in their poo becuase they have CDiff or other bug thats floating around. Going into Nursing with a CNA background is good as long as you're cognizant of the fact that the roles you play will be very different from each other.
Best of luck to you!
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2008, 02:17 PM
blankenstein
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i appreciate the input everyone's giving me. yeah, i've always been interested in jobs that would either help or entertain people. i know that becoming a nurse wouldn't necessarily mean i'm going to be entertaining every patient, especially if i have to put in a catheter.

i also realize that being a CNA and being an RN are two very different things, but it seems that being a CNA would only take about a semester at school and though i wouldn't be doing the same exact work as an RN, i'd imagine i'd get a good idea of what an RN does. am i right? or will i be in for a rude awakening should i take the CNA route?
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2008, 02:51 PM
runningnurse
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Smile

You'll get a glimpse of what an RN does, but truly until you actually work as an RN you won't get the full gist of it. Being a CNA through school will not only solidify your patient care skills but also allow you to hone those observation skills and as you go along in school, you might be able to do more at your facility (if they allow it). I know that in British Columbia, we actually have a great program where student nurses get to work in the hospital as a Employed Student Nurse, they get 2/3 patients depending on strength and work as a nurse basically-while still being guided with an RN; they are eligible to do this after their 2nd year.
On a side note you said you wanted to be able to entertain people-every consider recreational therapy??
Go with the CNA route and you'll feel much more comfortable with your practice as you develop into a nurse!
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